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Apr 4, 2019 5:08 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Suffolk County Corrections Officer Arraigned On Friday Morning For Allegations Of Sexually Abusing A Minor

Robert Weiss is walked out of Southampton Town Police headquarters on Friday.     DANA SHAW
Apr 5, 2019 6:25 PM

UPDATE: Friday, 1:50 p.m.

Mr. Weis, a Suffolk County Corrections Officer who lives in Hampton Bays, was arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court for allegations that he sexually abused a minor multiple times over several years.

According to Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Laurie Moroff, Mr. Weis befriended a 7-year-old boy in 1996. Between the ages of 7 and 16, Ms. Moroff said, Mr. Weis sexually abused the boy.

The victim, now 29, reported the abuse to Southampton Town Police in March 2019, and Mr. Weis was arrested shortly after leaving his house on Thursday morning.

At the time of his arrest, police said, Mr. Weis was driving an 11-year old boy —described as a friend of the family whom he was watching—to school. Police said did not describe the boy as a victim of abuse.

Police found Mr. Weis to be in possession of items he allegedly stole from the Suffolk County Correctional Facility.

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said during a press conference after the arraignment that the stolen equipment included things like bulletproof vests, handcuffs, and EMT equipment.

Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said at the press conference that during a search of the home, three unregistered handguns, 32 long rifles and 50,000 rounds of ammunition were also found.

Mr. Sini said DVDs were also recovered from Mr. Weis’s house, and are suspected to possibly contain child pornography.

“There’s certainly indications that it does,” he said. “One of the DVDs is titled, “Age is Just a Number.”

Although Mr. Weis works at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Yaphank, and has for 24 years, his ability to possess guns was revoked by the department following allegations in 2016 that he sexually abused a child in South Carolina, according to Suffolk County Undersheriff Steven J. Kuehhas.

When the allegations were made, Undersheriff Kuehhas explained, Mr. Weis was assigned to a quartermaster position at the correctional facility and placed on restricted duty. Under restrictive duty, Mr. Weis was not allowed to carry a firearm, even though quartermasters typically carry guns.

In South Carolina, Mr. Weis was accused of abusing a 13-year-old male relative. He posted $100,000 bond and was released.

Mr. Weis has been a foster parent for 15 years, Ms. Moroff said, and has legally adopted five children, all males with intellectual disabilities, who are now between the ages of 19 and 26 years old.

“That’s what has the chief and I so concerned,” Mr. Sini said. “He’s had contact with a number of different children throughout his life, in a role where these children were supposed to trust him.”

The boys Mr. Weis adopted and fostered, Chief Skrynecki said, came from broken homes who were challenged or mentally challenged.

He added that the department believes there could be more victims, and asked anyone with information about Mr. Weis to contact the Town Detective Division.

During the arraignment, Ms. Moroff requested that Town Justice Barbara Wilson set bail at $1,000,000 cash or $3,000,000 bond, calling the allegations serious, and describing Mr. Weis as a flight risk.

She explained that Mr. Weis was in the process of packing to move to Texas. When asked when he was planning to move by Justice Wilson, Mr. Weis said next year after retirement.

Mr. Weis’s lawyer, Southampton Village-based attorney James O’Shea of O’Shea Marcincuk and Bruyn, requested a lesser bail. He said his client served time in Iraq in 2004 and had four of his adopted boys living at the house. The request was declined, and Justice Wilson set the higher bail.

After the arraignment, Mr. O’Shea said he had a lot of work ahead of him. Up until the hearing, he said, he had only met with Mr. Weis for five minutes.

“I realize that child abuse is a serious problem, and sometimes memories are suppressed—trying to defend something that happened 20 years ago is really, really difficult,” he said. “It’s also really difficult to prosecute, so it’s a double-edged sword.

“Basically, folks, we have to just wait to see how this plays out, get more information, and we’ll go from there,” he added.

Mr. Weis is expected to be back in court for a felony indictment on Tuesday, April 9, at 1 p.m.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A Hampton Bays man accused of sexually abusing a minor multiple times over the course of several years was arrested on Thursday and faces several felony charges, police said.

Robert Weis, 55, was arrested by Southampton Town Police on Thursday after an investigation into allegations regarding the incident were conducted by town detectives with the help of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

The allegations, according to police, were that Mr. Weis sexually abused a minor over the course of several years.

Police would not say what the relationship was between the victim and Mr. Weis, nor would they say how old the victim was.

Mr. Weis was charged with first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, a class B felony, and three counts of criminal possession of a firearm, a class E felony.

Police did not provide any information about the gun charges.

Mr. Weis was held at Town Police headquarters in Hampton Bays and was scheduled for arraignment on Friday in Southampton Town Justice Court in Hampton Bays.

Police ask if anyone has additional information regarding Mr. Weis, to call the Town Police Detective Division at 631-702-2230.

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